Interested in making your own winter tent? Follow along as Lisa Banning Ender shares her knowledge of creating her first, canvas sided tent.
Last winter, when it was -15°, Lisa and her friend, Karen camped in a canvas tent at a rest stop during the John Beargrease Dogsled Race. Even with the cold temperatures outside, they were comfortable and warm. After talking with a fellow camper at the race about winter camping, he suggested she try her hand at making her own tent.
The task felt a bit daunting and the mathematics intimidating. Shortly thereafter, her friend parked his industrial sized sewing machine in her garage and she figured, why not give it a go?
Settling in at a coffee shop with hot beverages in hand, she and Karen, cut, glued, measured and pasted together a model of the 8×8 foot tent. Lisa originally though of doing a pyramid style tent, but Karen suggested panels along the sides, creating more space. A great option, but requiring more technical work.
Not wanting to sink too much money into it, she found canvas for $4 at a local supplier. Karen faithfully came over to assist and would hold volumes of canvas while Lisa sewed the pieces together.
The 8×8 tent came together slowly, but surely. She made a zippered door and included a zippered vent in the ceiling. Grommets were inserted along points so that she could anchor the tie outs. After about 35 hours of sewing and additional time spent thinking, her tent was finished. Now all she needs is a good dumping of snow.
Now that the tent is finished, Lisa said she’d finish all her edges first, before sewing the pieces together. If she makes another tent, she recommends buying canvas from Rochford Supply. She’d also get her stove jack from Four Dog Stoves. Instead of being positioned to the side, she’d likely move her stove to the back, making the heat more centralized.
Here are the materials and sources for her tent.
Canvas: Mill End Store
Stove Jack: Harris Warehouse Canvas & Camping
Zipper: Rochford Supply
Sewing Machine Needles: T.J. Elias
Nylon for the skirt: Used her own scraps of nylon spinnaker cloth.
Grommets for tie outs: Menards
PVC for center pole: Menards
Candleier: Created by Karen
Felted floral garland: Collaboration between Lisa and Karen.